New Creation, New Label

“Who am I, really?” I wish I had asked that of God many years ago.

As a child, I was the weird one. I was the one without a dad. I was the one with off-brand clothes. I was the teacher’s pet. I was the one with acne at ten years old.

As a teenage girl, I was the smart one. I was the one who fit in everywhere and nowhere. I was the one who sought attention. I was the one who rooted for the underdog. I was the one who could do it all but chose to do nothing.

All those descriptions are true, yet none are who I am. I know that now, but it took many years to get rid of the labels—the labels thrown at me by others and the ones I quietly placed on myself.

As each new label was put on, my true identity became more and more hidden. It was hidden behind guilt, embarrassment, shame, and confusion.

I met Jesus when I was nineteen years old. In a wave of unconditional love and unrelenting grace, He claimed me as His. I added “Christian” to my labels that Sunday morning at church, but I didn’t remove any of the labels from my past.

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I had the honor of writing this piece for Women Encouraged for their series on identity in Christ.

Putting off the old labels and putting on a new label was a slow process of realizing that my identity is entirely defined by who God says I am, not what I (or others) label me as. If you have been holding onto old labels, I hope you'll read this post and decide that it's time to take them off.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 ESV

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